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07 February 2015 | in Universiade 2015, Winter Universiade, Snowboarding

Double Asian Gold in Half Pipe


SIERRA NEVADA - Conditions were excellent this morning in Sierra Nevada for the second snowboard competition: the half pipe. Always spectacular, this competition attracts a large audience, and often athletes from Asian countries are successful with China and Japan in the lead. This was again the case today thanks to the magnificent performance of Chinese Cai Xuetong who dominated the event. This sport student at the University of Harbin (who participated in the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014) had two perfect runs making things very complicated for her opponents, Spain’s Queralt Castelet and Switzerland's Carla Somaini, respectively silver and bronze medallists. Queralt Castelet, however, was very satisfied with this result in front of a home audience. "I love coming to compete in the Sierra Nevada, although my university (University of La Rioja in Logroño) is not so close. Winning a silver medal in and for my country makes me very happy."

Nedefuji Ayumu, being interviewed by Japanese journalistsIn the men's competition, Japanese Nedefuji Ayumu was the only one to counter US domination and it must be said that without him, the US team would have won a historic triple podium.

As the main opponent of the student trio from Salt Lake City, Ayumu imposed himself with his ease in the air, performing his figures without fault. This sophomore at the Nippon Sport Science University (Tokyo) is a regular at the World Cup and is particularly fond of the conditions in the Sierra Nevada. There, he was already ranked second at the 2013 World Cup event. "This is my first Universiade and I must say I love the atmosphere that prevails among all participants. The spirit is really different from other competitions. Besides my friends at university support me through the social networks. I hope to return to Almaty in 2017."


Text and photos: Yvan Dufour, Editor-in-Chief


The men's half pipe podium